Ahhhh… vacation was GOOD! But I couldn’t wait to get back into the kitchen ;D I’ve been craving granola for weeks, so I decided to whip up a batch as soon as a I had a few free minutes to do so.
What I love about granola is that it’s so customizable. I made cinnamon pecan flavor (with raisins) but you can use whatever nuts (or no nuts) and whatever fruit (or no fruit) that you want. I can’t wait to start experimenting with more flavor combinations (cherry vanilla, ginger with bits of crystalized ginger). I used some ground flaxseed but you could certainly sub that for some wheat germ or oat bran… very customizable!
A lot of people are steer clear of granola because it is quite energy dense (aka high in calories), but the very ingredients that give it so many calories are the ingredients that also give it that classic crunchy texture. I used 1/4 cup each of brown sugar, honey, and oil. My granola was still pretty crumbly with a few clumps. If you like a super crunchy, clumpy granola, increase those three ingredients to 1/3 cup each. If you’re tempted to reduce them further than I did, I suggest you just make a batch of muesli instead. It has practically the same ingredients minus the sugar and oil and is still one of my favorite breakfast items.
Cinnamon Pecan Granola
Cinnamon Pecan Granola
- 4 cups rolled oats ($0.83)
- 1 cup pecan halves ($3.69)
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed ($0.12)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar ($0.08)
- 1/4 cup honey ($0.59)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil ($0.12)
- 1 tsp cinnamon ($0.05)
- 1 tsp vanilla ($0.10)
- 1/2 tsp salt ($0.03)
- 1/2 cup raisins ($0.54)
- Begin by preheating the oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl combine the rolled oats, ground flaxseed, and pecans (roughly chopped). Stir until combined.
- In a small saucepan, combine the honey, brown sugar, oil, salt, and cinnamon. Cook over low heat while stirring until the brown sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Pour the honey mixture over the dry oat mixture. Stir well until all of the oats are coated (this may take a couple minutes of stirring). Pour the mixture out onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Spread it out into an even layer.
- Bake the granola in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring half way through. Keep an eye on the granola as every oven is different. If it begins to smell burned, remove from the oven immediately. You want the granola to toast, but not burn.
- Remove the granola from the oven and stir in the raisins. Press the granola down to compress it on the baking sheet. This will help it form clumps as it cools. The granola will feel soft when it is hot, but will crisp up and become crunchy as it cools. After it cools, store in an air-tight container.
Step By Step Photos
Begin by preheating the oven to 325 degrees. You’ll probably have the granola ready by the time it finishes heating.
Measure four cups of rolled oats into a large bowl. I got my oats from the bulk section at the store and they were extremely inexpensive. Try to get rolled oats or old-fashioned oats rather than “quick oats.” Quick oats are cut into much smaller pieces that don’t give the texture needed for the granola.
Measure out a cup of pecan halves. I also got these in the bulk bins but probably paid a little too much for them ($10.99/lb.). Keep in mind that bulk bins are not always the cheapest option.
Roughly chop the pecans so that you get a little bit in every bite. Or you can just buy pecan pieces rather than halves.
Combine the chopped pecans with the oats and ground flaxseed in a large bowl. Stir until well mixed.
In a small saucepan, combine the oil, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Warm over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
It will only take a few minutes and it will look something like this. The oil won’t completely mix in. Turn the heat off and stir in the vanilla extract.
Pour the sugar mixture over the oats. Use a spoon to make sure to get all of it out of the saucepan.
Stir until all of the oats are coated in the sugar and oil mixture. This may take a minute or two of stirring.
Spread the granola out over a baking sheet that is covered in parchment paper. Place it in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes, stirring half way through. Baking the granola toasts the oats and nuts and further melts the sugar mixture, which allows it to get crunchy after cooling.
After removing the granola from the oven, stir in the raisins. The granola will feel quite soft, but will begin to firm and crisp up as it cools. Press the granola down to compress it while it’s still warm to help form crispy clumps as it cools.
Granola is great to snack on alone, to eat with milk like cereal, or to top a bowl of yogurt (or ice cream!).